I so enjoyed Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret that I borrowed her Big Little Lies in Large Print, thinking that I’d enjoy it more because it would not be so strainous on my eyes. Alas, I thought wrongly.
Big Little Lies is a story about friendship, and I like the plot. Three women – Madeline, Celeste and Jane – are at the crossroads of their lives:
Madeline is 40 years old and a force to be reckoned with. She’s married to Ed and they have two children: 7-year-old Fred and 5-year-old Chloe. She has a teenage daughter with her ex-husband. Ed and his new wife have moved to her neighbourhood and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Chloe.
Celeste, Madeline’s friend, is wealthy and beautiful and is mum to twin boys and married to Perry. She has kept a dark secret about her marriage for a long time.
24-year-old Jane has just moved into the same community with her son Ziggy “on a whim”. She also has an untold secret.
The children attend Pirriwee Public school and the story revolves round the annual School Trivia Night. What I did not like about this book is that the author chose to tell the story from Five Months Before the Trivia Night, Four Months Before the Trivia Night… … Five Days Before the Trivia Night … Eight Hours Before the Trivia Night … The Trivia Night … and A Year After the Trivia Night. I thought this would be more suited to a script for a TV drama series. Then, coincidentally, I found out from The Straits Times this morning that there is indeed a HBO series starring Nicole Kidman based on this book!
Perhaps due to personal experience, I was absorbed in the sections revealing domestic violence and rape. Violent relationships tend to become more violent over time. Every relationship had its own “love account” – doing something kind for your partner was like a deposit. A negative comment or slamming your wife’s head against a wall was a withdrawal. And : Domestic violence victims often don’t look at all like you’d expect them to look. And their stories always sound as black-and-white as you’d expect them to sound.
Another element that I liked was towards the end – did a tragic accident just take place, or is it murder? Then more secrets are revealed.
After reading two books by Liane Moriarty (one in normal font and this one in large print for seniors), I’ve decided that I need not take the extra trouble to scour for a large print version. Anyway, before I pick up another book by the same author, I would read one written by her younger sister, Nicola.